Saturday 24 June 2023

High Priest - Invocation (Album Review)

Release Date: June 23rd 2023. Record Label: Magnetic Eye Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Invocation: Tracklisting

1.Invocation 06:00

2.Divinity 05:09

3.Ceremony 04:59

4.Cosmic Key 05:52

5.Down in the Dark 04:45

6.Universe 05:17

7.Conjure 05:04

8.Heaven 07:39


Invocation is the new album from Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers High Priest and it sees the band perfect their cosmic and spaced out sounds with influences ranging from Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Alice In Chains and Summoner. The album is quite soulful and quite diverse with an almost Hard Rock aesthetic allowing High Priest playing some of the album's standout and emotionally charged moments.

With the majority of the album focusing upon the Heavy Rock aspect of their music, High Priest do show some tender moments with the music becoming more Psychedelic along the way. There’s a cool sideline in heavy FUZZY and SLUDGY guitars which comes straight into play with the outstanding title track Invocation which blends Post-Rock, Space Rock and all the other fantastic Doomed Out Stoner moments the band offer here. Wonderfully progressive with a killer Post-Stoner attitude towards the end of the song with swirling Psychedelics giving this album a more emotionally charged feeling.

Second song Divinity continues with the trippy Psychedelics with a classic Thin Lizzy/Mastodon based guitar that becomes heavier with each passing moment. High Priest play a faster style of music here which can be quite forceful at times but the grooves are plentiful with superb vocals to match. The lyrics have a Classic Hard Rock sensibility which changes to a more atmospheric style that allows High Priest to be both modern and contemporary at the same time. Wait for the epic Twin Guitar showdown that appears within this song and other parts of the album which harks back to the days of Thin Lizzy and Mastodon but still allowing High Priest to play their own sound.

Third song Ceremony opens with stylish and almost digitised sounding vocals which have a lot of volume behind them. The music is cautiously slow to begin with but the Alice In Chains inspired Grunge/Sludge grooves are superbly played with a level of noise that’s perhaps the  heaviest part of the album. There’s a ton of great sonic experimentation being used on this song that becomes almost Post-Metal at times but the heavy Sludge Rock atmospherics keeps everything grounded even with the Spaced Out nature of the song.

Fourth song Cosmic Key is another outlandish Fuzzed Up song with Space Rock overtones but it’s one that allows High Priest to offer a more thoughtful approach to their music. One of the most gloomiest tracks on the album with shades of despair hidden within both the vocals and lyrics written for this track. 

The second half of the album sees High Priest add a more Alternative Rock/Metal sound to the album with songs such as Down In The Dark and Universe offering more dynamic and heartfelt vocals and the music becoming slightly more progressive. Ambient sounds have a longer droned out effect with the heavy guitars offering some of the heaviest parts of the album. There’s a killer bass line within Universe which is one of my favourite aspects of the album.

The “Doom & Gloom” approach continues for the last two songs of Conjure and Heaven with High Priest switching things up for the better on these two tracks. Conjure is a more cautious take on the modern Doom/Stoner sound with aggressive outbursts of Sludge Rock/Metal allowing the Twin Guitars sound to grow naturally.

Heaven is perhaps my favourite track on the album as High Priest the grooves are most definitely of the Sludge/Stoner Metal variety. However, the lyrics and vocals feel inspired by bands from the 1980’s and 1990’s Alt Rock scene especially with the awesome chorus. The song is brilliantly uplifting which is quite different to everything else contained on the album. Throw in a more Progressive atmosphere and High Priest end this album on a mighty HIGH.

Invocation is a spellbinding and adventurous album which does everything a debut album should. The grooves are plentiful and spectacular throughout with first rate production values that leave you breathless.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Magnetic Eye Records for the promo.

Invocation is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Magnetic Eye Records.


Facebook | BandCamp | Instagram | Twitter